Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping arrived in Uruguay Wednesday, his second stop on a tour to solidify business partnerships with Latin American nations.
There, Xi signed a contract to buy over $520 million in exports -- primarily natural resources -- from the South American nation.
The export items include soybeans, wool and paper pulp.
China is Uruguay's second largest trading partner after Brazil. In the first quarter of 2011, bilateral trade between the two nations rose by nearly 47 percent from the same period last year, according to Chinese news agency Xinhua .
Xi left Cuba earlier this week, promising to solidify the business partnership between the two Communist nations.
China's trade with South America has risen 50 percent in the past two years to roughly $180 billion.
Many of the countries in the region are rich in the natural resources -- particularly fuels-- that China desperately needs to feed its growing economy.
According to one Reuters article, China signed a letter of intent to redo a Cuban oil refinery.